I understand why I am a squirrel… I can see the potential use for all sorts of things and so don’t throw them away in case they can be repurposed later. The trouble is, this attitude of not getting rid of things seems to encroach on the rest of my life… for example, my e-mail subscriptions.

The route to so many interesting people.

Honestly, I can clutter my computer up without any external help!

I wrote the other day about inappropriate marketing e-mails, but on reflection most marketing is inappropriate for me, because I buy according to my own agenda rather than because an advert tells me I need to. So, what is the point in continuing to receive e-mails that tell me about the latest products/offers? Well, none really. And so, I’m having a ‘spring clean’ and unsubscribing from all sorts of mailing lists.

When I click on the ‘unsubscribe’ link, I generally get directed to a web page, where there is one of two main approaches:

(1) I find an emotional little message, saying that they will miss me and that I am always welcome back… as if this was a personal relationship. I have to keep reminding myself that the only thing they will miss is my money and the only thing I will miss is having to delete piles of e-mails from my inbox.

(2) I am told how many mind-blowing offers I will miss out on as a result of breaking off this contact. This does slightly weaken my resolve in some instances, and I have to remind myself, that however much free postage is available, I am NEVER going to order something from this company anyway, or that if I need to, I can afford the postage.

Many years ago we joined the Mail Preference Service and stopped getting marketing letters addressed to us, and then we opted out from unaddressed mail delivered by the Post Office (you are supposed to re-register for this every two years, but our postie knows we don’t want it, so he never delivers it now). In addition, I contacted many companies who I had ordered from and who were sending catalogues, and asked them not to… with a high rate of success. Why, therefore, have I been happy to keep receiving all these marketing e-mails? I guess it’s because they weren’t physical entities and I didn’t have a tangible resource to move from doormat direct to recycling bin. However, every electronic message must have a tiny bit of electricity associated with its dispatch and delivery and so not receiving them has to be (a tiny bit) good environmentally… and also cuts down on time taken to deal with e-mails each day.

So, this week, I am unsubscribing from a whole host of marketing lists… it’s not taking long as I’m doing it as they arrive. I can’t imagine it’s going to result in me losing out, but if I do, I will never know, so that’s ok!

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